“All of our clients share the common desire to live intensely in their places,” says Lauren Geremia, the design principal and founder of San Francisco–based studio Geremia Design. Though the company was founded in 2011, making it relatively newborn by industry standards, it’s already masterminded many of the tech world’s Pinterest-perfect headquarters, including two tiny start-ups you may have heard of called Dropbox and Instagram.
Geremia’s other projects have ranged from the modern residence of a 70-year-old married couple to the industrial-chic offices of Hightail and Asana. What remains consistent though is her reputation for design that provokes without sacrificing pragmatism. “Most of our clients allow dogs at the office or have tiny infants and they love hosting parties,” says Lauren. “Everyone wants that couch which looks high-end but is also spill a glass of red wine on.” It’s this balance of the aspirational and comfortable — combined with an emphasis on nurturing emerging artists from her alma mater, RISD — that has made Geremia’s design studio amongst the most sought after in the Bay Area.
Geremia has appeared on Forbes’ “30 Under 30 in Art & Design” list and as one of Architectural Digest’s “Ones To Watch,” and she’s certainly lived up to (and exceeded) the hype. Her early work with the city’s hippest bars and restaurants quickly evolved into designing state-of-the-art headquarters for their techie patrons. It’s a niche that she and her hand-picked team are dominating. Her spaces forego stifling drop ceilings and grimy stained carpet. Instead, they feature custom furniture handmade in Oakland and artisanal glass-blown light fixtures. The result: exquisitely designed office spaces where many would pay to work.
Creating an IRL identity for a URL entity is a rewarding task. Geremia and her team strive to foster creativity and community-building for their clients through spatial problem solving. “A lot of these employees are working from 10AM to 2AM. Their hours are not normal. They need to be comfortable, inspired and productive at all times,” says Lauren, of San Francisco’s tireless and competitive tech-force. “At Lumosity, for example, there were a lot of introverts, so we wanted to encourage people to collaborate.”
Lauren was a painting major in college and she’s an avid collector of photography. So the part of the job she’s most jazzed about is art curation, which allows her to support RISD artists. “When I first started out, I really wanted to give my friends a way to get their incredible work in public places to inspire people. I wanted to help new furniture companies and painters grow.” As you can imagine, some of her clients have rather handsome art budgets with which she’s entrusted, along with complete creative freedom to bring their walls to life. It’s always been Geremia’s mission to help wildly talented creatives thrive, and now she’s making it happen one dream home at a time.
Geremia isn’t interested in filling rooms with precious pieces that are simply pretty to look at. She wants people to actually lay down on their couches. She wants to transform uninviting and ordinary spaces into welcoming and visually stimulating incubators for thinking, creating, raising families and changing the world. Starting a new project is an “intimate getting to know each other process,” says Lauren. It’s one which requires the client to fill out a detailed questionnaire about taste and inspiration in order to help draw out what he or she wants but doesn’t quite know how to express. “It’s about understanding the clients on a deep level and figuring out how to manifest their ideas abstractly, so it’s not so corporate and cheesy. I’d say that’s our speciality.”
Portrait by Maggie Davis
Interior Photos courtesy of Geremia Design